While some parents choose to homeschool because of state assessments, other parents find them beneficial. Parents can use them to find out how much their children already know, identify skills their children haven't mastered, or confirm that their children are ready to advance to the next level. There are many schools and curriculum publishers offering free placement tests. Although companies specifically design their tests to help parents place their children appropriately in their schools or to purchase level specific course materials, parents can use their tests to get a general idea of where their children are academically.
This is a collection of companies offering free printable, downloadable, and online placement tests. For links to non-free national standardized test providers, click here: Standardized Test Providers.
Placement Test Resources
Alpha Omega Diagnostic Tests and Curriculum
Correct educational placement testing is a key component to successful homeschooling. Alpha Omega Publications offers free math and language arts placement test resources for Monarch, LIFEPAC, and Horizons curricula. You may also purchase a CD-ROM that contains Switched-on Schoolhouse tests for grades 3-12 in the core subjects of Bible, language arts, math, history and geography, and science.
Calvert Education Placement Tests
Calvert offers free, no-obligation placement tests for grades Pre-K through 8. Answer keys are provided.
Electronic Practice Assessment Tools (ePAT)
These online tests are designed to help Florida students get familiar with end-of-course assessments. The questions are minimal, but they can give students a general idea about what types of questions are asked. You will find sample Algebra, Biology, History and Civics tests. Direct link: http://fl.testnav.com/client/index.html
Free SAT Practice Test
Taking the SAT Practice Test is a stress-free (and free) way to find your high schooler's strengths and weaknesses on the SAT. Your child can take the test online at CollegeBoard.com, or you can print it out.
Internet4Classrooms Assessment Test Resources
Free resources to help students practice skills required on various assessments.
K12 Language Arts/English Placement Tests
Language Arts/English Placement Assessments are offered for all grades through middle school as follows: Reading Placement Assessments (Grades K - Middle School); Language Skills Placement Tests (Grades 3 - Middle School only); and Writing Tests (Grades 3-Middle School Only)
K12 Math Placement Tests
The placement test is made up of 16 assessments: one for each semester of Kindergarten through Middle School. Print out the assessment you feel would be appropriate for your child and give it to your student to take.
Learn Math Fast Books Placement Test
This printable placement test includes 5 problems per grade level starting at first grade and ending with eighth grade. Have your child answer the problems until it becomes too difficult. The printable Answer Key will tell you what grade level and which volume of the Learn Math Fast System you should read.
Math Mammoth Placement Tests
Designed to be taken at the end of a particular Math Mammoth course, these assessments can help you identify your child's understanding of specific math skills. You'll find separate tests and answer keys for each grade level from first through seventh.
Math-U-See Placement Testing
Math-U-See offers downloadable general and secondary level placement tests designed to help teachers determine their students' skill level. They also recently implemented a new placement tool specifically for homeschoolers
. You'll find placement tests and printable answer keys for all grade levels.
NRRF Reading Competency Test
The National Right to Read Foundation has published a printable two-part Reading Competency Test--part one assesses phonetic code proficiency; part two assesses reading grade level--to help guide parents with children in grades 2 through 6. The test must be printed, but the results can be determined online or via a printable scoring sheet.
Saxon Math Placement Tests
Sonlight Curriculum offers printable placement tests for their Saxon Math program. While Saxon Math books are purportedly based on skill level instead of grade level, general grade levels are listed to help you choose an assessment. You'll find tests for all grade levels.
School Sparks Kindergarten Readiness Test
The eight-part School Sparks Kindergarten Readiness Test will help guide you through the various developmental skills a Kindergarten student needs in order to be successful in school. The eight parts are: gross motor, fine motor, auditory processing, visual discrimination, letter and word awareness, phonemic awareness, math/number awareness, and social/emotional development. After completing this online evaluation, you will be given a summary of your child's skills and meaningful suggestions to help you prepare your child for Kindergarten.
Sonlight Placement Tests
Links to free Singapore, Saxon, Horizons and Teaching Textbooks math placement tests. There is also a Quick Reading Assessment designed to help you determine your student's approximate reading level.
The Online Test Page
Look here for a variety of web-based practice drills that can help your high school student prepare for the SAT.
The Phonetic Zoo Spelling Placement Test
These downloadable spelling tests by the Institute for Excellence in Writing can help you evaluate your child's spelling skills. The tests are divided into three levels: grades 3-5, grades 6-8, and high school. The tests are designed to help parents determine which level to begin their children (ages 9 and up) in The Phonetic Zoo program.
A Note About Anxiety
No matter how young or old your child is, it's perfectly normal for him or her to be anxious before a test. Anxiety effects children (and adults) of all ages.1 Your child may be worried about doing poorly, concerned about taking too long, or mindful about less than positive past test taking experiences. A little anxiety can actually be helpful (stress-induced adrenaline can keep you on your toes2), but too much can be disadvantageous.3
Test anxiety isn't something you can eliminate for your child, but it is something you can minimize. If your child is worried about doing poorly, tell your child that the test is testing you to make sure you're doing your job as a teacher. If your child is concerned about taking too long or not finishing in time, break the test up into multiple sessions and avoid timed tests altogether. If your child had negative test experiences in the past, perhaps while in public school, assure him or her that the results of the tests are only to help you plan and prepare future curriculum.